I’ve developed a strange urge this year. It hits me every time I see someone smoking. I feel like going over to them and asking them to give up – to quit. I’m seriously tempted to take off my shirt, show them the scars on my side, and let them know that lung cancer is no fun at all (even though mine isn’t from smoking). But you know what? I don’t! I just turn away and keep on going. The problem is I’m gutless!
I have another urge, a deeper urge. Every time one of my friends shows a disinterest in God or dismisses Christianity, I feel like pleading with them check it out – to reconsider. I want to point to the scars on Jesus’ hands, the wounds in his side, and let them know that God offers each of us a fresh start because of Jesus’ crucifixion. The consequences of rejecting God are serious, but I want to speak of the love of God, his offer of forgiveness, and his promise of life beyond death. But you guessed it! Too often I say nothing at all. I just ignore the issue and continue as though it doesn’t really matter. Let me apologise for being gutless! Seriously, let’s talk.
7 thoughts on “A strange urge”
so well written Dave- i pray God will be gracious to your friends and that they will want to talk
A while ago a friend answered a knock on his door: “I’d like to talk with you about a matter of life and death.” It was a member if his own church, doorknocking the street. This upset my friend. For months he had been trying to convince others in the church to door knock and/or to invite friends a Christianity Explained course he was running.
This was the first person from his church to ever knock on his or his neighbour’s door in twelve years. It was the message that upset him—it was a warning about bushfire danger in the local area and how to prepare. The parallels with the gospel were sadly ironic.
This may seem a rather negative and judgemental starting point, but I found it personally convicting and clarifying.
A short sharp and timely reminder to be bold for Christ. It is so easy to ignore opportunities to share life giving information – and something we are all guilty of doing. Dave, of all people you have shared generously of this great news for all.
I shout at people on bikes without helmets. Sometimes at people riding in the dark with no lights. I think it’s my form of public service announcement. Show your scars. If it stops one person lighting up it’ll be worth it.
Can I suggest that its not necessarily gutless but ‘proper upbringing’ (or societal conditioning). We are taught to be ‘diplomatic’, ‘sensitive’, ‘polite’ and inoffensive. We just need to hang out with small ‘untaught’ sorts (I recommend 6 years and under) who will say, loudly and proudly ‘Peee-ew! SMOKE. That’s gonna kill ya if you keep doing that’ and ‘Well Jesus love you anyway and died to save you so you should just trust him, okay’. It doesn’t necessary rub off but its a good reminder…
Tim Keller suggests that essential to us sharing the gospel effectively is our own experience of its life changing power. Nothing like a reformed smoker to evangelise for the quit cause. Same for a reformed (small ‘r’) sinner.
Therefore, where we’re at with sharing Jesus is an indicator of where we’re at with Jesus.
Therefore…thank you Lord for grace, and by grace change me.
It’s funny how we may talk about the healths issue but we are so reticent about sharing the most important person in our lives!